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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wenatchee, Washington » Physiology and Pathology of Tree Fruits Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #245474

Title: Standardizing postharvest quality and biochemical phenotyping for precise population comparison

item Rudell, David

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/9/2010
Publication Date: 9/10/2010
Citation: Rudell Jr, D.R. 2010. Standardizing postharvest quality and biochemical phenotyping for precise population comparison. HortScience. 45(9):1307-1309.

Interpretive Summary: Proper evaluation of fruit and vegetable quality and chemistry after harvest is crucial for plant breeders and geneticists to effectively develop higher quality produce using modern techniques. However, many of the protocols used for evaluating these important aspects of plant quality provide slightly different data or even measure variants of the same parameter, rendering data among breeding and germplasm populations incomparable. Instead, wasteful redundant evaluations of similar traits are required so that necessary widespread interpretation among populations can be performed. Other times, valuable data is lost when breeding selections are culled to provide additional room for more useful selections. To remedy this, it has been proposed that standardized protocols should be developed and that this should include important postharvest traits. This article reviews the nature of postharvest traits and special considerations that should be made when developing standardized evaluation protocols for these fundamental features of fruit and vegetable quality.

Technical Abstract: Selection of plant material with desired traits from different populations can be difficult, if not impossible, when trait evaluation methods are not comparable. This is especially true regarding fruit postharvest traits where techniques and reporting protocols can be unique or non-existent for traits crucial to quality and storability. Moreover, difficulties evaluating postharvest traits may be exacerbated by the dynamic nature of fruit ripening, introducing error even into intra-population comparisons. With the advent of biochemical phenotyping of fruit quality-related traits, opportunities to standardize evaluation of these and other important fruit postharvest traits are materializing. Standardized trait evaluation among breeding programs and, most importantly, germplasm collections is expected to allow more precise trait comparison between populations, expediting integration of economically important fruit quality traits into new populations as well as marker discovery.